Historically March is a good month to catch up with Rook on the patch with many of last years juveniles seemingly on the move and Mr Croft frequently picks out these birds crossing the Flats, so frequently in fact that a few of us were wondering if he was actually releasing Cambridge caught birds from his rucksack! But on a bird-less and rather dire Saturday morning in which Summer migrants were none existent, Jono and I were bemoaning the fact how dreadful it was when he picked out a corvid flying towards Alexandra Lake and tentatively called "Rook". We watched the bird fly towards the tall trees banking the lake (a popular location for Crows in the area) but with the views I had I just wasn't totally convinced (I am the eternal pessimist) but Jono was having none of it and we circled the lake to see if it had actually landed, and sure enough it had, and it was perched up high with the other Carrion Crows.
The I.D. of the bird wasn't as straight forward as you'd think, from the angle we were looking at it against the backdrop of a lead grey sky the bird was mostly silhouetted and I had to fire-off a dozen or so images on the camera with the exposure bumped right up (hence the rather arty black and white photo below) to finally pick out that peaked crown and long straight culmen - both of which were not as obvious as you would think when viewing the bird through bins.
So Rook finally falls and is now sitting nicely on the patch list (thanks mainly to Jono's persistence) but one things for sure I hadn't realised just how easy it would be to overlook a young Rook - yeah an adult you'd picked that one out a mile away but a juvenile, now that's a different matter and a little lesson learnt.
|Rook - just look at that conk|